Books + Books

At the beginning of 2014, I went through a severe decluttering phase that helped in so many other areas of life. I revamped my wardrobe, nailed my personal style and color palette, and even began helping my girlfriends rid their closets of the unnecessary.

In 2015, I discovered that I’m really someone who likes to see my favorite things displayed in the home, so I don’t fit completely in the minimalist camp. I’d like to think I’m somewhere in the middle :)

One of the greatest joys for me is seeing books lovingly stacked in all areas of a home. I dream of having a dining room with a beautiful wall of bookshelves filled with colorful volumes of fiction, memoirs, and cookbooks.

I got rid of a lot of books in 2014. I don’t think I’ll go down that road again for awhile, lol. I think books add so much to a space.

Whether the genre is home + garden or inspirational, I’d love to hear your recommendations. Thanks so much!

Around the Table

The dining room in our home is, in truth, not used every day….we seem to find other places to gather and eat. It is still a lovely room to enjoy special occasions and to pull out the special things that have been handed down to us through the years!

The corner cabinets are from Crate and Barrel.

The sideboard was a junk store find that I gave a black dry brush paint treatment.

Our table started out as a plain pine farmtable…I was so tired of the orangy pine. I called my husband one afternoon and said …”do you care if I paint the table?” I painted it right there in the dining room:) 

The hutch from a small furniture store about an hour from my home

The bar a yard sale find last summer. 

One of my favorite things in the room is the fingerpainting above the door to the kitchen. My (now17) daughter painted it when she was 3 :)

Glad to be a part of the Block Party! #aroundthetable

Welcome to my home!

I’m so excited to have a place to share our wonderful home with you. My husband and I purchased our first house almost 2 years ago. We had been married a few months prior, and weren’t seriously looking to purchase. We drove by it and fell in love. After settling in, it still didn’t feel like “home”. Paint colors that didn’t fit our personalities & outdated ceramic tile flooring with grout that might’ve been cleaned a handful of times in its 15 years. Some updates we’ve done out of necessity and many others to put our own touch on things, but little by little we’re growing to love our home. I believe your home is a reflection of yourself and I’m working on only putting colors on the walls, accessories, etc. in our home that do just that. 

 Since yesterday I ripped up this flooring, we’ll start with the living/dining area. I can’t wait to show you what it looks like in the weeks *maybe months* to come!

 This photo shows what the dining and living area has generally looked like since we moved in. It’s an extremely awkward space. We put the tv above the fireplace, mostly because it felt like that’s where it was supposed to go but it didn’t allow for more than a single couch to view the tv. After 2 years of brainstorming I think I’ve found a solution! I’ll keep you posted! I loved the dark laminate when we moved in, then grew to hate the tile that was everywhere but the living room. Then, at some point we got 2 dogs that shed and bring in a lot of dirt which is why we’re replacing all of it with new lighter laminate. The ceiling is very high in the peak so I talked myself into liking the paint colors until I found the courage (and a solution) to painting it all. 

 We painted the walls and ceiling the same shade of white to avoid spending days on a ladder edging. The color is Dove White, in Valspar Reserve with a Satin finish. Hopefully I’ll be able to show you all our new flooring and living arrangement in a few days! Wish us luck!

Time for some #shelfies

A few people have mentioned how much they enjoy seeing what’s on other people’s shelves, so I thought I would share some shots of the things on the shelves in my living room.

The main theme on all the shelves in my living room is books. I love to read, and I’m not afraid to let people know it. Most of the books I display are vintage books that I got from my grandparent’s house.

I have one shelf where I have displayed all of my marsala (read red) toned books – I like to sort my books by color most of the time, it’s weird, I know. That shelf also houses my vintage cameras, my grandparent’s stereoscope with cards, and a “T” from the old Princeton Theatre marquee. Our theatre company recently sold off the old marquee letters as a fundraiser to help pay for some of the restoration work. I can’t wait to see it completed.

This shelf features an odd conglomeration of items. There is another marquee letter, this one an ampersand which I hope to eventually hang on a gallery wall along with my wedding photos. It also has a small letterpress tray, more vintage books, with a new one hiding in plain sight. In the vase made by local artisan Joe Smith, is the dried rose I carried in my sister Kayla’s wedding. Sitting next to it is an apothecary jar filled with spent .22 shells (my husband and I enjoy going out to target practice when the weather is nice and his isn’t farming)with a waxed rose my husband gave to me on top. Like I said, this shelf in an odd conglomeration of items.

The shelf containing some of my newer books also features some miniature raku monks, which were used to test glazes at the University’s pottery studio before it was closed.

The shelf that contains this hand crafted vase houses a few of my favorite books, “The Historian” by Elizabeth Kostova and “The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern among others. I love how the taupe fox looks with it- I totally got that fox from the Christmas ornament section at Target last year. But even though it’s new, that fox has a special place in my heart. It reminds me of the taxidermy fox that still sits in my mom’s living room.  My grandpa trapped that fox one year on my mom’s birthday (also his). It was the last one he ever trapped.

Another shelf has all of my green books- and for some reason I only have one blue vintage book, along with a set of large cat nesting dolls that once belonged to Rita, a family friend, and the peacock fan that belonged to my grandmother.
So, I’d love to know, what stories do you shelves tell?

Kitchen Update

Our house was built in 1976, and when we bought it in 1993, it had never been updated AT ALL!  We spent Mother’s Day ripping out chocolate shag carpet and the next two weeks taking things down to the bones.  All that the budget would allow for the kitchen was new wallpaper and new flooring.  The cabinets were sound and the ceramic tile counters and backsplash were acceptable.  Fast forward to 2012 when a young guest at a shower I was giving declared my kitchen “retro”!  With the help of the folks at Lowe’s, we gutted the kitchen and three years later, I still love it..

My Small Space

I’ve been a renter for the past 5 years or so. Right now I rent a room in my sister and brother-in-law’s house in Seattle and it is TINY (like…8×8 tiny, seriously), but it’s my first room all to myself since living on my own. I’ve had so much fun collecting things little by little to make this little room my home! I’ll try to do a full room tour soon, but first I wanted to share a little sneak peek of few of my favorite things in this space.

1) My guitar

I got this guitar for my birthday last summer and couldn’t love it more if I tried! I keep it in my room in its case to protect it, but if I had the wall space I would totally hang it on the wall. It’s a mini, perfect for a small space (and a small person like myself)!

2) This table

I have one tiny wall space in my room that desperately needed a console table, but the wall was the most awkward size and I had an impossible time finding something that could fit! Finally a few weeks ago I found the perfect console table at Ikea. Now that it’s all set up (after many grueling hours trying to put it together…the downside of Ikea), I never knew how thankful I would be to have a SURFACE to set things on. It sounds like such a simple thing, but seriously, having a place to set things is something to be thankful for because I genuinely didn’t have a place like that before this table arrived. Ha!

3) My collection of blue and white

I’ve been gathering blue and white pieces for the past couple of years. I love love love them. My collection is small but growing, but at some point I’ll have to stop myself because a tiny room can only take so many things before it gets ridiculous :)

4) My WARDROBE

First of all, I just like that I can call this a wardrobe. Hahah…I really could probably call it a closet. But it’s not a closet, it’s a wardrobe and WARDROBE just sounds fancy so I’m sticking with it. Space is at a premium in here, so this *wardrobe* is so ideal for effectively using vertical storage space. There’s a pretty white door on it with a brass handle that I added (I’ll share that in my room tour soon), but true confession, sometimes I just leave the door open because seeing stacks of sweaters makes me happy. Maybe happier than it should.

5) My Bed

I have a daybed. If I had anything other than that, my room would literally just be a bed with no place to walk. This bed is the coziest, full of fluffy pillows in different textures. Bella (with her shaved leg from the doctor) likes it too..

I love how small this room is because I can focus on making everything in it super functional and beautiful to me. It’s still in process, but I love my tiny little home!